Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2020

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Geography and Geosciences

Degree Program

Geography (Applied), MS

Committee Chair

Day, C. Andrew

Committee Member

Hadizadeh, Jafar

Committee Member

Sluss, Tamara

Author's Keywords

sediment yield; RUSLE; vegetation; climate change; soil erosion; soil degradation

Abstract

Soil erosion is of escalating importance as increasing population and climate change have put increasing pressures on agricultural food production. Vegetation and precipitation are two factors that control the amount of soil erosion extant within a region. Sediment delivery ratios (SDRs) assess the ratio of soil eroded from a watershed system that is permanently removed from the system through stream sediment discharge. Using 1) river discharge and sediment concentration data and 2) the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), this thesis analyzes fluctuations in monthly SDRs for an average hydroclimatological crop-harvest season for the Senachwine Creek watershed, IL. Through calculating average gross soil erosion and sediment yield, it is found that significant fluctuations in watershed soil erosion and sediment yield occur in response to changes in precipitation and crop vegetation cover.

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